About University

Most university programs consist of a wide selection of courses that will allow you to explore your subject of major interest. The purpose of a university education is to help you refine your higher order thinking skills. As you delve into your chosen area, you will learn to think critically about concepts, look at the big picture, analyze cause and effect relationships, break an idea or situation into component parts and put it back together again. Only a very few professional university programs will train you for work in a specific job area; for example, business, engineering or nursing.

There are four basic types of undergraduate university degrees:

  • B.A. - Bachelor of Arts - Subjects of major interest would include (Humanities) English, Languages, Philosophy and (Social Sciences) geography, history, psychology and sociology
  • B.Sc.- Bachelor of Science - Subjects of major interest would include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science.
  • B.FA.- Bachelor of Fine Arts - Subjects of major interest would include Visual Arts, Music and Drama.
  • Professional degrees are usually a package of prescribed courses with some room for specialization within the subject area. e.g. Bachelor of Commerce (Business), Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Some programs (e.g. Physical Education) may be offered as either a B.A. or a B.Sc.; or they may have their own unique designation (e.g. BPhysEd).

Many university degrees are offered at a variety of levels of concentration (specialist, double major, major-minor, minor).

Most university programs have program requirements (some compulsory courses that you must take in your subject of major interest). Most university degrees have degree requirements in depth (a minimum number of first, second and senior year courses) and breadth (courses from several subject areas) requirements.

Once you have been accepted to a university, the university will arrange for you to have an orientation session with a Faculty Advisor, who will help you to choose your university courses.

After your first year of university, it is fairly easy to switch your subject of major interest within a degree; for example, within a B.A. to change your major from Psychology to Sociology. Students wishing to switch from one degree to another, for example, B.A. to B.Sc., should consult an academic advisor at the university.

For administrative purposes, similar programs are grouped together into an administrative unit called a faculty; for example, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Mathematics. There is no uniform method of grouping programs into faculties; for example, depending on the university, English could be part of the Faculty of Arts, or the Faculty of Humanities or the Faculty of Arts and Science. You must study each university's calendar very carefully.

How can I find the program that is the best fit for me?

Go to Ontario Universities Info Areas of Study chart and Find a Program. Compile a list of all of the programs of study that might be of interest to you. Please note that different universities may use different names for similar programs (Human Kinetics, Kinesiology, Physical Education, Sport and Physical Education).

  • Once you are in Ontario Universities Info, you can search by program or by university. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and then click on the appropriate Program Title for Program Details (including OUAC program code, previous year mark range and prerequisites).
  • Now that you have created a shortlist of possible university programs, you should return to Ontario Universities Infoand browse by Area of Study to find all of the universities that offer your program.
  • For each university that offers your program, check the Program Details to ensure that you have the prerequisite courses to apply for your program. Now check to see if you will have an average above the previous year mark range (cut off average) for admissions. In the Basis of Offers section, take note of the way that the university calculates your average and the way that it deals with repeated courses. Normally, it is unusual for a cut off average to change by more than one percent from year to year. Check for any Notes or Additional Admissions Criteria.
  • Repeat this process for every university program that might be of interest to you.
  • Most Ontario universities make their initial conditional offers of admission using your grade 11 final marks.
  • They then revoke the offer, if your grade 12 final marks do not meet the conditions that they listed in the initial conditional offer of admission.
  • Your goal is to narrow your selections to 3 choices. It is possible to add additional choices by paying additional application fees.
  • Some colleges offer Bachelor degree programs. Students must apply to these programs through the Ontario Colleges website​.
  • Joint Colleg​e-University Programs offer the opportunity to earn both a university degree and a college diploma. Some programs require you to apply through OUAC, while other allow you to apply through OCAS.